Health is a human right, enshrined in the Alma Alta declaration by the nations of the world. After satisfying the need for food, after satisfying the need for shelter, the next thing that every human wants to satisfy is the need for health: their own health, the health of their children, the health of their parents, and the health of their communities.
Here in the United States, health disparities are very noticeable. While we are home to some of the finest healthcare institutions in the world, the high quality care these institutions provide is not available to all citizens. If you look at our health outcomes, the United States ranks well below all other high income countries, despite the fact that we spend twice as much as any other nation on health services as a proportion of GDP.
Access to high quality affordable healthcare for all is a fundamental condition for social and political stability. The current political turmoil in the United States is partly due to inequities in access to high quality healthcare. Health insurance in the United States is generally provided by employers. The anxiety of those who lose their jobs as a result of international competition or technological change is dramatically exacerbated by the loss of health insurance. To lose a job is to lose access to high quality affordable health insurance.
The problem of access to healthcare is complex, but there is one key that could unlock a host of solutions to our current healthcare crisis and lead to a true transformation of the healthcare system here in the United States: information technology.
Originally Published on Forbes (July 24, 2019)